• 75°

Marine Fisheries Commission wants more input on modifying small mesh gill net rules

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission wants input from its advisors before it moves forward with possible future modifications to small mesh gill net rules.

At its November meeting, the commission chose a variety of options for the Division of Marine Fisheries to explore as a first step toward amending rules pertaining to yardage limits, attendance requirements, when and where nets may be set, and allowable mesh sizes. The commission asked that all options be brought before the Finfish, Northern and Southern advisory committees before they are brought back to the commission for additional consideration, reports a media release from the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries.

The division, at the direction of the commission and the secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, is reviewing North Carolina’s small mesh gill net rules with a focus on reducing regulatory complexity, bycatch concerns and user conflicts and asked for the commission’s feedback.

The commission also asked the division to consider several different options for sector harvest allocations in the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 3.

Until now, the allocation between the commercial and recreational sectors in fishery management plans has been based on historical harvest. In Amendment 3, that would equate to about 73% commercial and 27% recreational but advocates of the recreational fishery have asked for an increased recreational allocation.

The commission voted to ask the division to include options in the amendment for commercial/recreational allocations at 70/30, 65/35, 60/30 with a 10% allotment for gigging, 60/40 and 50/50.

Additionally, the commission heard presentations from division staff on recently completed striped bass assessment reports and a resulting revision to Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan. The revision will implement adaptive management contained in the current management plan that will reduce fishing mortality in the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River Management Area by 57% effective Jan. 1, 2021.
Following staff presentations, commissioner Pete Kornegay offered a Ten-Year Prescription for the Recovery of the Albemarle Sound/ Roanoke River Striped Bass Stock presentation, which included at least a five-year moratorium on all striped bass harvest in these waters and a two-year phase out of gill nets, except large mesh gill nets in the Chowan River for blue catfish. The commission took no action in requesting supplemental measures.

In other action, the commission voted to:

– Begin the rulemaking process to protect all species from highly efficient gear on state ocean artificial reefs;

– Approve nominees for at-large seats on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council;

– Approve proposed rule language to prohibit repacking of foreign crab meat in North Carolina;

– Readopt rules 15A NCAC .3401-.3407 pertaining to recreational water quality monitoring, evaluation, and noticing under a mandatory periodic review schedule;

– Continue the suspension of portions of rule 15A NCAC 03M .0301 (b)(2) and (3)(A)(B) King Mackerel for Proclamation FF-37-2020, which increased the recreational possession limit of King Mackerel.

READ MORE IN OUR ON THE WATER SECTION HERE.

RECENT HEADLINES:

NCDOT reports six positive COVID tests among Pamlico Sound ferry staff

Commercial oyster harvest proclamation changes noted

Lifestyles

Nags Head Ocean Rescue places third overall, second in division at lifesaving competition

News

Citizens appointed to Dare boards, commission

Crime

Two men, one woman arrested in North Carolina after 14 neglected dogs seized, four more found dead

News

One killed, another injured in North Carolina train, truck crash

Lifestyles

First Flight Market takes off in Kill Devil Hills

Crime

North Carolina man cited after toddler rescued from porch roof

Crime

Four from North Carolina indicted for various drug, fraud charges

Currituck

Currituck-Knotts Island ferry route to suspend service Tuesday through Friday

Hyde

Hyde County Courthouse bell project made possible with community support

Crime

Newport News man arrested on charges related to Currituck County road rage incident

News

Sunday night wreck in Frisco results in fatality

News

Feeling sleepy? Bear cub takes a break at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

News

North Carolina gas prices fall slightly over past week

Lifestyles

Fishing on the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Crime

North Carolina man charged with murder in drive-by shooting of teen girl

Hyde

Airplane flips after landing at Ocracoke airport

Crime

North Carolina police investigating drive-by shooting that claimed life of 12-year-old

Crime

Virginia man arrested for domestic assault in Rodanthe

News

William B. Umstead Bridge speed limit temporarily lowered for purple martins

Crime

Virginia man arrested in Nags Head after traffic stop

Lifestyles

Outer Banks Anglers Club to hear from artificial reef coordinator at next meeting

Crime

Former North Carolina resident sentenced to prison for bribery, visa fraud, tax charges

Hyde

Drone trial delivers supplies to Ocracoke Island

News

Comments open on proposed Buxton and Avon nourishment projects